Failure of the Pacific DC Intertie shortly before 4 p.m. on August 25 triggered rolling blackouts in Southern California Edison territory. Power was cut to 409,000 residential and business customers on a hotter-than-expected day. The blackouts, scattered throughout Southern California, forced businesses to turn away customers and residents and office workers to swelter. Southern California lost 2,800 MW of power when the 500 kV direct current transmission line from Oregon to Southern California failed, said the California Independent System Operator. It forced the grid operator to tell Edison to drop 900 MW of firm load and 800 MW of interruptible load customers. Edison responded by curtailing service for 163,000 interruptible customers and rotating outages among 243,000 firm customers. The utility was able to restore power to firm load customers "Thankfully, due to the swift efforts and cooperation of California businesses and residents, the demand-response plan was implemented immediately and outages were limited," stated Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who rushed to the grid operator's headquarters to meet reporters and late-night news cameras. "Today's transmission line failure reminded us of the critical importance of having a robust transmission system," stated the governor, whose plan to move siting authority over transmission lines to a new energy department was rejected by the Senate the same day the blackouts occurred. Assemblymember Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys) shot back that the governor has spent too much time "trying to rearrange the deck chairs of California's energy agencies and trying to push us back to the failed model of deregulation." CAISO said that in addition to the line failure, higher than expected demand contributed to the problems in Edison territory. Loads in Southern California ran 2,000 MW greater than predicted as temperatures soared up to 14 degrees higher than projected, the grid operator said. Statewide load peaked at 44,650 MW, compared to a forecast peak of 41,319 MW. Temperatures soared well past the century mark in desert areas. Hot weather is forecast for the next couple of days, prompting utility officials to urge conservation. Officials were still investigating the cause of the line failure at press time.